Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

2/28/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Debilitating disease attacks the skin, nerves

Leprosy, a debilitating disease that attacks both the skin and nerves, has plagued mankind before Biblical times. A new study claims that leprosy is probably the oldest infectious disease in humans with roots stretching back millions of years.

The World Health Organization says more than 200,000 people worldwide are infected with leprosy, most of them in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The World Health Organization says more than 200,000 people worldwide are infected with leprosy, most of them in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/28/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Health

Keywords: Leprosy, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Two leprosy-causing bacteria deriving from a last common bacterial ancestor around 10 million years ago has been confirmed by a scientist at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. The discovery proved that early man suffered with the disease.

The scourge is still very much with us. There are still hundreds of thousands of new cases of leprosy across the world annually. If left untreated, it can lead to disabilities and eventually death.

Saint Patrick's Day is coming -- go here!


Pathologist Xiang-Yang Han in 2008 discovered a new leprosy bacterium. He has since analyzed 20 genes of Mycobacterium lepromatosis and the better known Mycobacterium leprae bacteria.

Researchers found that the two bacteria came from a last common ancestor around 10 million years ago, according to the study in the journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

It was previously believed that the common bacteria ancestor underwent a massive reductive evolution that resulted in inactivation of approximately 40 percent of all the genes in its genome.

Scientist Francisco Silva, of the University of Valencia's Evolutionary Genetics Unit, along with Professor Han, says that leprosy is a strict human disease that stretches back millions of years.


A number of pieces of evidence backed up their theory.

Leprosy surprisingly is not highly contagious. It can only be caught by coming into close contact with nose and mouth droplets from someone with untreated, severe leprosy.

The World Health Organization says more than 200,000 people worldwide are infected with leprosy, most of them in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

Leprosy bacteria cannot live outside the human body. There is the rare exception of wild armadillos thought to have been infected by American explorers a few hundred years ago.


Over 400 strains of Mycobacterium leprae analyzed so far have been found to have virtually identical genomes, suggesting that human beings carried the leprosy bacteria when departing Africa around 100,000 years ago to populate the rest of the world.

This ultimately points to the fact that leprosy is a sign of mature parasitic life far older than 100,000 years.


The oldest age of the leprosy bacteria's pseudogenes suggest that gene inactivation began approximately 20 million years ago, which is probably the point when the ancestor of leprosy bacteria jumped to our early human ancestors and transitioned from free-living to strictly parasitic.

"In particular, tracing the ultimate origin of leprosy through the parasitic adaptive evolution of the leprosy bacteria is rather insightful, not only for this single disease but also for our better understanding of the mechanism behind other human infections," Dr. Han says.

Pope Francis calls for your 'prayer and action'...

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for June 2015
Universal:
That immigrants and refugees may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come.
Evangelization: That the personal encounter with Jesus may arouse in many young people the desire to offer their own lives in priesthood or consecrated life.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Health

Lazy lifestyles pose dangerous and deadly threat to today's generation Watch

Image of Laziness can lead to problems with being overweight.

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

You might not be entirely aware, but according to the World Health Organization, physical inactivity is now the fourth most notorious global killer. In fact, the impact of physical inactivity has been claimed as the reason for more fatalities than the collective effect ... continue reading


5 wonderful facts about sunscreen that you didn't know Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The need to use sunscreen is something emphasized everyday, not only by dermatologists but also by the beauty industry, media, etc. It's basically everywhere. It is not an alien fact to us that using sunscreen religiously will help us combat premature aging, the risk ... continue reading


Is getting plastic surgery a sin against God? Watch

Image of Plastic surgery is considered a simple medical procedure nowadays but remains as an intriguing aspect for the Catholic Church.

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Plastic surgery may seem to be a common medical procedure for several individuals around the globe, but the Catholic Church still has different points of views when it comes to changing the naturally bestowed beauty from God. Some medical practitioners, on the other ... continue reading


'Swimming pool eyes' are not because of chlorine... but because of urine Watch

Image of Swimmers that use the pool for their toilet causes the urine to react with chlorine. This in turn creates a chemical compound that hurts the eyes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In a sage bit of advice that has a double meaning - you may not want to "go" to a public swimming pool after you learn this disgusting fact. If you emerge from the pool with red, stinging, sensitive eyes, it is not because of the chlorine... it is because of ... continue reading


Recording reveals anesthesiologist's shocking verbal abuse against unconscious patient Watch

Image of An anesthesiologist [not pictured] is caught make rude comments about patient.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of simply recording his doctor's post-operation instructions, as intended, a Virginian man accidentally recorded the anesthesiologist's verbal onslaught against him while he was asleep. Concealing his identity, the patient filed a lawsuit, including the doctor ... continue reading


Eating 'Fitness Snacks' may not be the healthy alternative for staying fit Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

We often hear the term "fitness food" or see products that are marketed as a healthy and guilt-free alternatives to chocolates and chips, or a way to fight cravings and hunger pangs. But could these "fitness foods" really be the key to keeping oneself healthy and fit? ... continue reading


Have you been exposed to this common, 'cancer causing' chemical? Watch

Image of A chemical commonly used in herbicides may cause cancer in those exposed to it, though early evidence is not conclusive.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A chemical in a common herbicide widely used in farm work may potentially pose a threat to humans who are exposed to it, a new report from a World Health Organization (WHO) research unit has found. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The herbicide known as ... continue reading


Kim Jong-Un claims to create 'miracle drug' that cures AIDS, Ebola, SARS an MERS Watch

Image of Kim Jong Un claims to have found the cure for AIDS.

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While he's not working on his nuclear weapons project, North Korea's Kim Jong-Un reportedly has been busy creating a miracle drug. Curing and preventing diseases such as AIDS, Ebola, SARS and MERS, he claims to have succeeded in with his medical endeavor, despite years ... continue reading


Human breast milk sold online presents dangerous health risks to consumers Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The growing craze of human breast milk sold online has concerned many health experts. According to them, there is no scientific evidence found stating that drinking human breast milk can help restore health, as believed by some fitness communities and those suffering ... continue reading


PATIENTS KILLED: Euthanizing without consent in Belgium Watch

Image of

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Belgium, a law requires that euthanasia shall only be administered with clear and voluntary consent from patients. In 2002, Belgium passed the Euthanasia Act, which states that only voluntary euthanasia is legally acceptable. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


All Health News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Acts 12:1-11
1 It was about this time that King Herod started ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 16:13-19
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 17-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for June 29th, 2015 Image

St. Peter, First Pope
June 29: Simon Peter or Cephas, the first pope, Prince of the Apostles, ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter